How to maximise safety in school evacuation procedures
It’s essential for schools to have seamless evacuation procedures, customised to their unique needs and circumstances.
No two schools are the same, which is why careful consideration must go into the development, design and implementation of a school evacuation plan. Here are some specialist tips to keep your school, staff and pupils safer using effective emergency procedures:
Develop crystal clear procedures
To maintain effectiveness, school emergency policies need to be enforced to down to the tiniest details. An emergency plan should be a clean and detailed document that is constantly monitored and reviewed to meet the current and seasonal circumstances of the school. Staff members must be assigned clearly defined roles, with the specifics of each role communicated effectively. Everyone involved should be given a detailed plan of what their responsibilities entail in each kind of emergency. The emergency plan must also include emergency phone numbers, as well as the precise location of the evacuation and meeting points, tailored to each point in the school. In addition, evacuation diagrams must be extremely accessible and displayed in clear and visible positions.
Train and retrain your staff and pupils
Many schools make the mistake of relying solely on teachers and staff in an emergency. There are usually more pupils than staff, which means effective training of students can be extremely beneficial to the evacuation operation. Training students about emergency procedures also imparts them with valuable life skills, helping keep students safer in other emergencies they may find themselves in. Training should also involve the basics of first aid and how to operate fire equipment. Remember, one training session is never enough. Research shows that people forget training if they do not need to recall it over long periods of time, making the refreshment of this knowledge crucial to safety.
Never underestimate the power of practice
While students often find emergency drills pointless and teachers often find them disruptive, don’t be fooled. There’s strong reasons why drills are and always have been best practice for improving emergency preparedness in schools. Drills act as a safety training measure, helping familiarise students and staff with emergency procedures. They are proven to dramatically improve response and coordination, helping staff clarify which roles and responsibilities belong to who. They also help you test out your procedures, revealing any weaknesses or issues, while improving awareness and preparedness should a real-life emergency occur.
Not sure how to build an evacuation plan for your school? Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.